WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — President Trump signed executive orders on Friday with the goal of lowering drug prices.
Parts of the order aim to allow for importation of prescription drugs from other countries, where the cost is much lower; eliminate kickbacks to pharmacy benefit managers, also known as middlemen; and require federal health centers to pass the discounts they get from drug companies on to patients who need insulin and epi-pens.
These executive orders won’t affect everyone, but some people are saying they really need those lower prices.
Barb Sproule and her husband are low-income seniors. She said she’s ecstatic about the executive orders.
“You have to meet that high deductible before you can get a lower price. And I haven’t reached mine yet,” she said.
Daniel Safee, Pharmacist and owner of Danwins Pharmacy, said in the past U.S. citizens have financed drug development in our own country — that we pay for with high prices. In other countries, those drugs are not under patent, meaning they can be distributed very cheaply.
“The United States kind of subsidizes drug costs for other parts of the world. He (President Trump) is trying to correct that to make it more fair, and hopefully lower the cost of drugs for people,” said Safee.
Safee said there can always be unintended consequences from executive orders.
“The president can order Medicare to no longer reimburse for drugs at a certain price and do it at a lower one, but that will have an echo in the market — things will have to change. The hope is that it’s for the better,” he said. “I would like to see executive orders and laws be based on evidence and data to support it.”
It’s not clear when the orders will go into effect — but, it won’t happen overnight.
“I don’t mind waiting, as long as it happens. Just try to make it as soon as possible,” said Sproule.
Trump said in a statement Friday he is fighting against lobbyists and special interests, and he said he is fighting a rigged system. He will talk to drug company executives later this week.